Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Bridgewaters, has perfected some digital initiatives that might guarantee well over 10,000 jobs for youths in Ekiti State and Ekiti indigenes in Lagos.
Chief executive officer of Bridgewaters, Mr. Segun Oke, said that the plan to automate Ekiti with broad-based digital empowerment was borne out of his desire to contribute his quota to the task of eradicating poverty in the state in particular and Nigeria in general.
Oke said the NGO was seeking the partnership of the state government to make the laudable project a reality. He said efforts were being made to get the endorsement of the government to start the project.
Oke, who is an ICT expert and chartered accountant, said the NGO would equip about 10,000 youths in digital skills, artificial intelligence, robotics, programming, motion animation, cyber security and project management.
He also explained that Bridgwaters would train 7,000 elderly residents on the use of gadgets and the internet, train 20,000 children in programming robotics, motion animation and other digital skills, midwife the establishment of 1000 starts-up businesses in Ekiti in the next five years.
Others include transforming job seekers to job creators and create 20,000 jobs, assist 5,000 youths to get gainful employment in the innovation and technology ecosystem within and outside the country, spur the generation of about N15 billion in revenue from these start-ups and automated 100 public service/social activities within Ekiti to upscale productivity.
He said that ultimately, when the projects come in full swing, about 50,000 people would have been gainfully engaged, which excludes the multiplier effect of the employment cycle.
Tagged ‘Automate Ekiti,’ the project, according to Oke, is a digital skills acquisition/empowerment programme for youths in Ekiti and indigenes of the state in Lagos. He added that the goal of the NGO is to reduce poverty from the continent of Africa. “But as the saying goes, charity begins at home. We are starting the empowerment programme from Ekiti, my birthplace.”
Oke said further: “The fundamental determinant of wealth is shifting from commodity to creativity and innovation. We are focusing on converging technologies such as internet, robotics, drones, block chain, crypto currency, virtual or augmented reality and rapid advancements in computing power.
“We at Bridgewaters are asking, ‘isn’t there a better approach to accelerate Africa’s development? Isn’t there a way to create abundance from the challenges we face? Can’t we help make governance more effective? Are there alternatives to creating employment and raising our productivity?’ We think there are better alternatives.
Oke said one of the benefits of the project was that it would create funds to promote a digital economy for Ekiti. He said through the “Automate Ekiti project,” tourism activities would improve in the state.